House speaker warns of possible civil war after troop pullout

Mir Rahman Rahmani, the Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of the Parliament) said Wednesday that a full US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by September is “irresponsible” and that it could result in another civil war.

Rahmani stated that the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan is crucial for counter-terrorism, and urged the US not to leave its mission incomplete.

“Foreign forces came to Afghanistan for specific goals, but the war still continues, drugs have not been eliminated,” he said.

Rahmani stated another civil war could possibly be triggered and said “troops withdrawal should be condition-based.”

This comes after US officials announced on Tuesday that Biden has decided to withdraw all American troops by September 11 – the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

Biden’s decision sparked a widespread reaction, both in Afghanistan and abroad.

One member of the Afghan Republic’s peace talks team in Doha, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Germany’s DPA news outlet that Sthe withdrawal of troops would be “the most irresponsible, selfish” thing that the US could do to its Afghan partners.

The talks team member said the pullout might be the end of the war for Washington, but that Afghan partners will pay the price.

“They could have ended this in a responsible way, with a little more patience,” the negotiator said.

The former head of Afghanistan’s independent human rights commission Sima Samar meanwhile called the unconditional withdrawal “unfortunate.”

“The withdrawal should be conditional and responsible,” Samar said, adding that Afghans need to learn from the past, in an apparent reference to the sudden Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 which led to the devastating civil war.

This came ahead of President Ashraf Ghani and US President Joe Biden’s phone conversation on Wednesday evening about the troops withdrawal issue.

Ghani said in a series of tweets on Wednesday night that he had discussed the situation with Biden in a phone conversation and that he “respects” Washington’s decision.

“Tonight, I had a call with President Biden in which we discussed the U.S. decision to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan by early September.

“The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan respects the U.S. decision and we will work with our U.S. partners to ensure a smooth transition,” Ghani said.